Wednesday, 27 June 2018

Hotel Updates: Denis Private Island

Denis Private Island Makes Big leap Into Renewable Energy 

One of Seychelles’ smallest islands has launched what might be the country’s largest private renewable energy project.

Denis Private Island has embarked on the first of a four-phase photovoltaic solar power system in collaboration with DHYBRID from Germany, initially reducing the island’s diesel consumption by 100 litres per day.

While most photo-voltaic projects feed power back into a public energy grid, the challenges on Denis are considerably different, primarily because there is no grid to speak of. The entire operation on the remote island – a 30-minute flight from the main island of Mahé – has had to be powered independently with its own diesel generators, making the switch to renewables a more complicated affair, Denis Private Island owner Mickey Mason said.

“We’ve always known that in keeping with our mission for not just a sustainable hotel but a sustainable and self-dependent island, we would have to address the issue of power,” Mr Mason said. “However, for us it’s not as simple as putting a few panels on the roof. If we’re going to do it right, we had to have a structure that would allow us to gradually shift toward the new technology without disrupting our existing operations.”

After thorough research, Mr Mason approached DHYBRID in Germany, which specialises in designing total energy solutions in remote places, and has carried out successful projects in Somaliland, South Sudan, Haiti and the Maldives.

Working in partnership with Sun Tech Seychelles, the first phase saw the installation of a 104 kWp solar array, together with the DHYBRID Universal Power Platform (UPP), which will serve as the foundation for the current and future integration of renewable energy on the island. That will eventually include an upgrade of Denis’ existing diesel generators, before the implementation of modern lithium ion battery energy storage systems that will replace the need for generators altogether.

With the UPP in place, DHYBRID chief technology officer Tobias Reiner said, the island has an energy roadmap towards 100 percent renewables.

“Denis Island is a beautiful and unique destination and we are very proud, that our technology is now supporting the ambitious vision of the island towards a green and sustainable energy supply,” Mr Reiner said. “Denis Island is a role model in sustainability and we hope that this installation will set a further example to other islands in the Seychelles.”

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